The global boom in natural gas demand is about to slow, the International Energy Agency says

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker arrives at a gas storage station. STR | AFP | Getty Images The world’s appetite for natural gas grew at the fastest pace since 2010 last year, but that blockbuster growth is shifting into lower gear, according to the International Energy Agency. Global demand for natural gas surged by 4.6% in 2018, driven by strong economic growth, the transition away from coal-fired electric power and weather-related demand. Gas accounted for nearly half of the world’s growth in energy demand, with most of the higher…

Oil prices extend gains, move further away from five-month lows

An offshore oil rig off the coast of Norway. Nerijus Adomaitis | Reuters Oil prices rose around 1% on Friday to move further away from five-month lows hit earlier in the week, buoyed by a report that Washington could postpone trade tariffs on Mexico and signs OPEC and other producers may extend crude supply cuts. Brent crude futures were up 50 cents, or 0.8%, at $62.17 a barrel by 0041, having risen earlier to $62.41. They gained 1.7% on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 50 cents, or…

There’s one major factor preventing oil from breaking out

RBC Capital Markets’ Helima Croft blames the U.S.-China trade war for oil’s drop into bear market territory. According to the firm’s global head of commodity research, bullish sentiment around crude has been damaged by global growth fears sparked by tensions between Washington and Beijing. « What is the demand driver for oil? It’s China. There is a real fear of a slump in Chinese oil demand growth, » she told CNBC’s « Futures Now » on Thursday. « One of the things that has kept this market tight this year…

White House invites Trump business allies to forum in search for a Middle East ‘deal of the century’

The White House has invited some of President Donald Trump’s key allies in the business world to an event later this month in Bahrain intended to kick start the administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan. The meeting is part of Trump’s effort to strike the « deal of the century » for Israeli-Palestinian peace. The Bahrain gathering will focus on the economic part of the push, which has been led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son in law and a senior White House advisor. Yet while Palestinian leaders and executives…

Oil prices firm above January lows but concerns grow about demand

Morgan Brennan | CNBC Oil prices firmed on Thursday after falling to near five-month lows in the previous session, but sentiment stayed weak due to rising U.S. supply and a stalling global economy. Front-month Brent crude futures were at $61 a barrel at 0831 GMT, up 37 cents or 0.6%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fetched $51.84, up 16 cents or 0.3%. The two benchmarks on Wednesday hit their lowest since mid-January at $59.45 and $50.60, respectively, amid a surge in U.S. crude inventories and record production, and as a global economic slowdown was starting…

Trump’s hard-line approach to Iran is a ‘strategic mistake,’ former US energy secretary says

The increasingly hard-line approach toward Iran taken by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is a « strategic mistake, » a former U.S. Energy Secretary said Thursday. At the Ecosperity Conference in Singapore, Ernest J. Moniz — who is currently the CEO of non-profit firms Energy Futures Initiative and Nuclear Threat Initiative — said Washington’s hardening approach risks provoking Iran not to comply with the 2015 nuclear agreement. Moniz, who was energy secretary from May 2013 to January 2017 under former President Barack Obama, said he believed Iran was still adhering…

Here’s how high the price of oil could go if conflict broke out with Iran

Martin Divisek | Bloomberg | Getty Images Oil is in the crosshairs as the prospect of confrontation brews between the U.S. and Iran. At least, that’s how Iranian officials would have it. A top military aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Yahya Rahim Safavi, warned over the weekend that « The first bullet fired in the Persian Gulf will push oil prices above $100. » He added, « This would be unbearable to America, Europe and the U.S. allies like Japan and South Korea. » More than a…

Oil stutters at over four-month low on rising US supply, demand fears

Morgan Brennan | CNBC Oil prices on Tuesday hovered around their lowest levels since January as markets remain under pressure from rising U.S. supply and stalling demand amid an economic slowdown. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $60.50 at 0108 GMT. That was 13 cents, or 0.2%, below last session’s close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $51.62 per barrel, 6 cents, or 0.1%, below their last settlement. Brent and WTI on Wednesday hit their lowest levels since January, at $59.45…

Oil prices fall after surprise build in US inventories

A Petrobras oil platform floats in the Atlantic Ocean near Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro. Getty Images Oil prices resumed their slide on Wednesday, dragged down by a surprise gain in U.S. inventories and comments from the head of Russian state oil producer Rosneft questioning the point of a deal with OPEC to withhold supplies. Brent futures were down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $61.64 a barrel by 0035 GMT. They rose 1.1% on Tuesday after a near 13 percent fall in the previous four sessions. U.S. West Texas…

Trump administration approved nuclear energy transfers to Saudis after Khashoggi killing

A man holds a poster of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia’s consulate on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey.  Chris McGrath | Getty Images News | Getty Images The Trump administration approved the transfer of nuclear energy information to Saudi Arabia on two occasions after the slaying of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi by agents of the kingdom, according to Senate Democrats. The administration granted the first approval in question Oct. 18, 2018, 16 days…

Joe Biden unveils $1.7 trillion climate plan, paid for by reversing Trump corporate tax cuts

Former U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign kickoff rally, May 18, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Drew Angerer | Getty Images Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a proposal Tuesday to put $1.7 trillion into clean energy research and infrastructure overhauls, funded by rolling back Republican corporate tax cuts. The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s plan aims to use that federal investment to spur more than $5 trillion in state, local and private money for measures to address climate change, his campaign said. Biden would…

Oil prices fall amid economic slowdown, despite ongoing OPEC supply cuts

Jason Reed | Reuters Oil prices fell on Tuesday amid a global economic slowdown that is starting to hit oil demand, triggering calls in producer club OPEC for supply cuts to be extended. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $60.88 at 0038 GMT. That was 40 cents, or 0.7%, below last session’s close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.94 per barrel, down 31 cents, or 0.6%. Crude oil futures are now around 20% below their 2018 peaks reached in late…

Why China’s rare earths threat is no game changer in the trade war

A man driving a front loader shifts soil containing rare earth minerals to be loaded at a port in Lianyungang, east China’s Jiangsu province, for export to Japan. China’s restrictions on exports of rare earths are aimed at maximising profit, strengthening its homegrown high-tech companies and forcing other nations to help sustain global supply, experts say. China last year produced 97 percent of the global supply of rare earths — a group of 17 elements used in high-tech products ranging from flat-screen televisions to iPods to hybrid cars — but…

Oil prices extend drop as trade wars stoke global economic fears

Getty Images Oil prices fell more than 1% on Monday to extend losses of over 3% from Friday, when crude markets racked up their biggest monthly losses in six months amid stalling demand as trade wars fanned fears of a slowdown in the global economy. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $60.97 at 0044 GMT. That was $1.02 cents, or 1.7%, below last session’s close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.71 per barrel, down 79 cents, or 1.5%. The drops…

Ford recycles 1.2 billion plastic bottles a year for auto parts

An employee walks past a Ford logo in the yet-to-be-completed engine production line at a Ford factory on January 13, 2015 in Dagenham, England. Carl Court | Getty Images News | Getty Images Ford is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by recycling plastic bottles and using them to make vehicle parts. The automaker uses an average of 300 recycled bottles per vehicle, roughly 1.2 billion plastic bottles per year, to make the underbody shields for all of their cars and SUVs as well as the wheel liners on F-Series…

Oil falls to lowest in nearly 3 months as US tariffs on Mexico stoke economy worries

A pump jack operates at a well site leased by Devon Energy Production Co. near Guthrie, Oklahoma. Nick Oxford | Reuters Oil prices dropped 1.5% percent on Friday to their lowest in nearly three months after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose tariffs on imports from Mexico, stoking fears about global economic growth. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $65.86 at 0019 GMT, their lowest since March 11. That was down just over a dollar, or 1.5%, from last session’s close. U.S.…

Pioneer CEO says the natural gas company avoided a downturn in prices by shipping out to California

Windmills are bringing some of the cheapest electricity to the Permian Basin, pushing natural gas prices into the negative, Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield told CNBC Thursday. « Pioneer has taken our gas to California, so we’re not seeing any of the negative prices, » he said in a one-on-one with « Mad Money’s » Jim Cramer. « But a lot of the independents are seeing negative. » In order to address challenges in natural gas, Sheffield said the company will need to add as many as five additional…

Ferrari goes electric with its most powerful street-legal car ever: the SF90 Stradale

Ferrari SF90 Stradale Source: Ferrari Ferrari just launched Its most powerful street-legal car ever — a 986 horsepower road bullet with three electric motors. The SF90 Stradale marks Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid that’s not built for the racetrack. It’s powered by a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 that generates 769 horsepower, but gets another 217 horsepower from three electric motors — one powering the rear wheels and two for the front. All that extra juice helps the car do zero-to 62 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of…

Remember freedom fries? ‘Freedom gas’ is now a thing, Energy Department says

The announcement this week came with the dry title « Department of Energy Authorizes Additional LNG Exports from Freeport LNG. » « Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy, » it quoted Energy Undersecretary Mark Menezes as saying in explaining why the Energy Department was approving expansion of exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Yes, he said « freedom gas. » The announcement goes on to quote…

Oil prices rise after bigger-than-expected fall in US inventories

A gas flare on an oil production platform is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf. Raheb Homavandi | Reuters Oil prices climbed on Thursday after an industry report showed a decline in U.S. crude inventories that exceeded analyst expectations. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.3%, at $59 a barrel by 0023 GMT. They closed down 0.6% on Wednesday after hitting their lowest since March 12 at $56.88. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were up 3 cents at…

Libya’s intensifying conflict could trigger the next major oil ‘supply shock,’ analysts warn

A fighter loyal to the Libyan internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) fires a Kalashnikov rifle during clashes against forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar, on May 21, 2019 in the Salah al-Din area south of the Libyan capital Tripoli. MAHMUD TURKIA | AFP | Getty Images Energy market investors are « clearly » underestimating the potential impact of sustained fighting in Libya, analysts told CNBC on Wednesday. It comes as the country’s intensifying conflict threatens to almost completely wipe-out the OPEC producer’s oil supply. Libya has been gripped by…

Oil prices fall as economic concerns outweigh supply risks

Employees close a valve of a pipe at a PetroChina refinery in Lanzhou, Gansu province. Stringer | Reuters Oil prices fell on Wednesday on concerns the Sino-U.S. trade war could trigger a global economic downturn, but relatively tight supply amid OPEC output cuts and political tensions in the Middle East offered some support. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.85 at 0101 GMT, down 26 cents, or 0.4%, from the last session’s close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.70 per…

Crude could drop to $52 as global pressures persist, says top technical analyst

The energy market may be in for more pain. Crude oil prices had their worst weekly performance of 2019 last week, catching some reprieve on Tuesday as flooding in the Midwestern United States restricted supply from several key distribution centers. Overall, this year has been choppy for prices, which are often tied to global macroeconomic developments such as the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. And there could be more weakness ahead for the commodity, warns top technician Louise Yamada, who predicted in April that the crude rally would stop if prices…

An under-the-radar way to measure economic growth in China is painting a bleak picture

A female staff works at a gas station in Huaibei, Anhui province, China. Jie Zhao | Corbis | Getty Images China’s true pace of economic growth is always hard to decipher, but the country’s lagging diesel demand could be a sign that the world’s second-largest economy is in a much more dire state than official numbers indicate. Diesel demand in China fell 14% and 19% in March and April, respectively, reaching levels not seen in a decade, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo. Monthly demand has also been falling…

Oil mixed as China’s economy weakens, but OPEC cuts still support crude

An offshore oil rig off the coast of Norway. Nerijus Adomaitis | Reuters Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, pressured by a weakening economy, especially in China, yet still supported by ongoing supply cuts from producer club OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.90 at 0106 GMT. That was 21 cents, or 0.3%, below the last session’s close, when Brent rose 2.1%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $59.03 per barrel. They did…

Oil prices rise amid OPEC supply cuts, but trade worries weigh

Andrew Burton | Getty Images Oil prices rose on Monday as ongoing supply cuts led by producer club OPEC kept markets relatively tight, but Brent remained below $70 per barrel on concerns over an ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.10 per barrel at 0021 GMT, up 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $58.73 per barrel. «…

Soaring gasoline prices peak just in time for Memorial Day weekend

Getty Images The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season. Heading into Memorial Day, the national average gasoline price is coming off the year’s high and sitting just above $2.80 per gallon. The national average climbed 67 cents a gallon between New Year’s Day and May 4, when pump prices peaked, according to price-tracking firm GasBuddy. That’s the second biggest rise on record for the start of a year, trailing only the 93 cents…

Oil prices stabilize after sharp falls earlier in week

A Petrobras oil platform floats in the Atlantic Ocean near Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro. Getty Images Oil markets stabilized on Friday amid OPEC supply cuts and tensions in the Middle East, after posting their steepest falls since the start of the year earlier in the week on the back of a global economic slowdown and swelling fuel inventories. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $68.05 per barrel at 0044 GMT, up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas…

Sec. of State Pompeo says he’s confident the oil market is well supplied despite Iran tensions

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a news conference at the State Department March 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration has taken measures to prevent oil prices from spiking while it attempts to drive Iran’s crude exports to zero. The administration has assured Americans that U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere will fill the gap left by falling Iranian supply. « We are confident that we’ve done the hard work to make…

Oil prices fall on surging US crude stockpiles, economic concerns

A Petrobras oil platform floats in the Atlantic Ocean near Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro. Getty Images Oil prices dipped on Thursday, extending bigger falls from the previous session, as surging U.S. crude inventories and weak demand from refineries weighed on markets. However, oil markets still remain relatively well supported by supply cuts led by the OPEC producer cartel and by political tension in the Middle East. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $70.90 per barrel at 0007 GMT, down 9 cents, or 0.1…